Don’t miss these winter events in D.C.

Is there a better place to spend the holidays than in Washington, D.C.? From the National Christmas Tree to some quiet time in the country’s finest museums, there are a wealth of must-see winter events and attractions in the area. These are just a few: 


Explore a Winter Wonderland at Washington Harbour 

The crown jewel of Georgetown, Washington Harbour not only gives visitors stunning views of the Potomac River, but it’s also home to the largest winter ice skating rink in D.C.  At 11,800 square feet, there’s plenty of fun for the whole family. The 2018 skating season lasts from November 16th through March 1, 2019. 


Be Mesmerized at the National Zoo’s ZooLights Display 

Take in an after-hours visit to the National Zoo during ZooLights and be starstruck with more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LEDs, animated light installations, and more. This popular D.C. wintertime tradition draws thousands of visitors each year and is free and open to the public. The 2018 ZooLights festivities run from November 23rd through January 1, 2019. 


Visit Arlington National Cemetery and Lay a Wreath 

The largest military cemetery in the United States, Arlington National Cemetery is where more than 400,000 military veterans (and their immediate family members) rest in peace. During the winter months, the cemetery participates in National Wreaths Across America Day, when wreaths are placed at every headstone. You can participate on December 15th, 2018 or visit any other day to pay your respects. 


Check Out the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree 

Every year, a tree from a National Forest in the United States is brought to the Capitol and is placed on the West Lawn for the holiday season. The 2018 tree is from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon and will travel along the Oregon Trail (in reverse) on its way to Washington. 


… and the National Christmas Tree, Too

The National Christmas Tree can be found in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse throughout the holiday season. It’s accompanied by nightly musical performances and will be lit on November 28, 2018. Tickets are required for the lighting ceremony and are awarded by lottery, but you can visit the Pathway of Peace, a walkway surrounding the tree with 56 state and territory trees decorated with unique ornaments, throughout the season. 


Skip the Cold and Explore the Museums 

The winter months are the perfect time to explore Washington’s diverse museums, as the tourist season has generally slowed down. The Smithsonian Museums cover a wide array of topics and offer some really fun hands-on activities. Here’s a more all-encompassing list of the area’s museums